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 FILTRATION TROUBLE-SHOOTING GUIDE

 Cartridge Filters

 


Caution:  Due to the possibility of pressure build up in the filter system, it is important to take steps to alleviate this pressure before attempting to service the filter. Always shut off the pump, and open the air-relief valve or pump lid before removing the filter clamp and opening the filter.

 

PROBLEMS

POSSIBLE CAUSES

SOLUTIONS

Short filter cycles between cleanings

Improper cleaning

Wash the cartridges thoroughly and carefully. Scrub them very lightly if needed. As needed, remove the cartridge and soak in a cartridge cleaning solution to first remove any oils. If the cartridge is white and crusty and indicates calcification, mix 1 part muriatic acid into 3 parts water in a plastic the foaming stops and the calcium deposits are gone. Thoroughly rinse the elements and reassemble the filter. Make certain that the valves are positioned properly, the pressure gauge is working, and the plumbing has no obstructions.

Clogged filter pores and/or high starting pressure

A high pH, total alkalinity, and/or excessively hard water will cause calcification of the filter cartridges. Oil in the water can contaminate the cartridges. Remove the cartridge and soak in a cartridge cleaning solution to first remove any oils.

If the cartridge is white and crusty and indicates calcification, mix 1 part muriatic acid into 3 parts water in a plastic bucket. Always add acid to water.

Soak the cartridges until the foaming stops and the calcium deposits are gone.
Thoroughly rinse the elements and reassemble the filter. Make certain that the valves are positioned properly, the pressure gauge is working, and the plumbing has no obstructions.

Water not balanced

High pH or total alkalinity levels cause calcification of the filter element. A low chlorine level encourages algae growth, which clogs the pores of the cartridges. Be certain that the pH, total alkalinity and hardness levels are kept within the recommended ranges.

Improperly sized filter system

The pump should cycle the pool volume in approximately 6 to 8 hours. A longer turnover rate means a shorter filter cycle. Use the manufacturer's sizing chart to determine the correct size of the filter and pump.

Increase the filter and/or pump size, if necessary.

Over-sized pump

An over-sized pump will cause dirt to penetrate the space between the fibers of the cartridges and cause shorter filter cycles. The flow rate should not exceed 1 gpm per square foot of filter area.

The filter does not appear to be cleaning properly: the water is cloudy

System is not running long enough or is incorrectly sized

Check the flow rate to be sure the filter cycle is long enough to turn over the pool water volume at least once.

If the filter is too small, replace it, if possible.

Water not balanced

A high pH and/or total alkalinity can cause calcium deposits and cloudy water. Low chlorine levels encourage algae growth and give a cloudy, green-or rust-colored tint to the water. Adjust the total alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels.

Superchlorinate if there is noticeable algae. Use a water clarifier to help remove the particles.

There is air in the filter tank

Air will cause a failure of the water to pass through portions of the filter elements Bleed the air from the filter.

Check for leaks on the suction side of the system, and/or check the water level in the pool.

Cartridge not properly seated, is torn, or has become weakened

Be sure that the cartridge is properly seated and that there are no tears between any of the pleats.

In addition, cartridges can become weak or "mushy" over a period of time and may allow water to pass over the top without passing through the filter. If this is the case, replace the cartridge element.

Water is leaking around the filter area.

Damaged/worn o-rings, tank, or loosened plumbing fittings

Determine the origin of the leak.

Turn the pump on and bleed by opening the air-relief valve. If the filter is leaking at the clamp, remove the clamp and filter top, and clean and inspect the entire area and o-ring. The o-ring should be pliable and round, or needs to be replaced.

Also inspect the mating surfaces of the top and bottom portions of the filter assembly for cracks.

If the tank itself is leaking remove and repair or replace. To reassemble, lubricate the o- ring with a Teflon-based lubricant, and tighten the clamp or locknut securely.

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